The Differences Between CBD ProductsDecember 29, 2020 • 02 pm
As public interest increases for cannabis solutions to medical problems, confusion about products is also on the rise. The differences between hemp products, CBD, and THC should be understood to make informed decisions for your health.
Much of the confusion starts with inconsistent federal policies and classifications of cannabis products as related to their legal status. The other major factor is misleading marketing efforts attempting to capitalize on the expanding availability of cannabis derived products, especially CBD.
Let us try to demystify some of the confusion.
Hemp derives from the same cannabis sativa species as the more popular, highly regulated plant. The main distinction is that the hemp THC level falls below 0.3 percent. This variety has a wide range of uses. The plant is fibrous and grows quickly. It was a mainstay agricultural product in early America as it was useful in the production of textiles, rope, paper, oils, extracts, and other materials.
It fell out of favor in the 1900s when a focus on illegal marijuana use rose in political arenas. Inconsistent testing and legal classifications led to problems for all types of cannabis, legal or illegal for much of the 20th century.
Over time, political climates shifted and science improved to allow hemp to gain widespread legal acceptance.
As medicinal marijuana usage started to grow in acceptance in the late 1990s, research led to the development of new products containing cannabis extracts. The cannabinoid CBD became hailed for its ability to effectively address pain and other medical problems.
This soon led to a proliferation of CBD products, especially creams, lotions, and oils. In the rush to get a piece of the action, companies also began to market and sell CBD products from hemp extracts in regions where medical marijuana was still illegal.
The hemp-based CBD became legal nationwide, as hemp had an exempt classification due to the low THC levels. Sales and marketing ramped up.
Meanwhile, medicinal marijuana companies were also developing CBD products with higher levels of THC, in states where usage was legal. These CBD products were producing many different results. Remember, these were the CBD products that launched the CBD craze because of their effectiveness.
As research continued, it was discovered that cannabis compounds worked together with an “entourage effect.” The presence of specific cannabinoids changed the behavior of other cannabinoids.
In the case of CBD, it is believed that when it is combined with other cannabis compounds in higher levels, such as THC, a full spectrum CBD product emerges to produce many more medicinal benefits than hemp-based CBD.
Unfortunately, the proliferation of hemp CBD and the ability to achieve nationwide sales enabled some companies to flood the marketplace with CBD products limited in their medicinal effectiveness.
One California budtender has aptly described the mail-order hemp CBD products as being like alcohol-free beer.
In the state of California, CBD products with effective levels of THC are only available in a legally licensed dispensary. Federal law prohibits distribution by mail. Therefore, any CBD product available for shipping by mail in any state does not contain the CBD-THC ratio highly touted for its medical benefits.
Years of recent research have produced products with different ratios of cannabis compounds, each developed for specific needs. Reputable dispensaries typically have consultants who can knowledgeably discuss their range of products.
In the Coachella Valley, the highly regarded dispensary, The Leaf El Paseo, is known for carrying curated product lines and employing well-educated cannabis consultants. While shipping by mail is not available, they offer local delivery including select service to Idyllwild and surrounding areas. Check out their menu here for great CBD products.
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Photo Credit: @marys_medicinals